(10 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
The conservative pundits on the news broadcast shows are praising his works, and we are reminded about the physical mess he and the Ms. faced when they moved into the White House–a story that had no merit in 2002 and has none now. But the rascal that’s leaving the White House in the coming January is leaving a mess that will take effort beyond the capability of the best ever housekeeping staff. Who doesn’t wish President-elect Obama the very best results from his efforts?
If I were king of the world, I would order the total eradication of every change to policy and procedure instituted during the Bush years. I would order all military personnel in Afghanistan and Iraq to move into the areas where they’ve been soldiering to live peacefully with the people there and to begin rebuilding the structures that are destroyed and continue with these orders until evacuation. I would remove Halliburton from the area and cancel service with Blackwater and return control of the national resources to those countries. And back to the table all factions would go to find a more agreeable way to peace than war.
I would take away the special rights and privileges that place corporations beyond the reach of law. I would appoint a committee to evaluate whether corporations have more civil liberties than people do. Drug companies would have to take responsibility for the release of perscription drugs that have disastrous effects on people. Golden parachutes would not be allowed at all, and standards would set the allowable difference between the lowest and highest wages a corporation could offer its employees and management. And I would put a halt to the rising prices at the grocery stores and any businesses that sell necessities to the public. I would be a total hardass about these things.
I let Obama know.
But there’s more:
Recently, researching the subject of same sex marriage, I became aware that a very disturbing part of the Bush legacy is the renewed attack on civil rights for the LGBT community. This video of the second panel discussion of a symposiom on the politics of same-sex marriage presented at UC Berkeley by the Institute of Governmental Studies and the Institute for the Study of Social Change is almost an hour long, If you can sit through the first two speakers, you will hear first from an opponent of extending the right to marry to same-sex couples stating the same old case they always make, using pseudo science and pseudo religion to justify an anti-humanist position. I was amazed that he had the chutzpah to present his claptrap at Berkeley. Fourteen minutes into the video, he is followed by a CUNY professor whose presentation includes information about the timing of public debate on civil rights issues that I found rather interesting.
Dr. Sherrill reminds us that the legal system and the political system operate on different timelines. Will Proposition 8 result in a change to the California constitution? Time will tell in time. The previous decision that the denial of marriage rights was unconstitutional may prevail, and then there is the question of conflict with the national constitution to consider. But that vote in California did this much damage, that it bolstered the opposition to civil liberties at a time when they saw the conservative administration soundly defeated. Many people who voted for Proposition 8 must also have voted for Obama. When times are better, will they be easily reminded that they feel strongly about preserving the so-called fabric of their so-called social mores and vote once again for the conservative candidates?
So, how do we tackle public opinion on the subject of civil rights for LGBT folk? I think that visibility is a first step, and that step has been taken. Now we need to promote the consciousness that LGBT folk are “normal” people who share the same aspirations and love of family and desire for dignity that hetero folk understand. We all share the human experience, and what better media for expressing our sameness than the arts?
Here’s a crazy idea!
I propose an art project focusing on expressions of the human experience depicting same-sex and other-sex couples in their daily lives. Imagine flooding the public eye with photographs, sculptures, paintings and sketches, poetry, literature–t-shirts. We could have a t-shirt design contest. We could find a playwright–my daddy has a barn. We could design a performance piece depicting a day in the struggle of same-sex couples and their children and sell coffee table books and t-shirts and water bottles with a logo in the lobby.
We could make a scene!
The election of Obama has left the nation hopeful. Anything is possible. But Obama can’t fix this problem. Obama may not even list this problem very high in his priorities. This is a problem for the human heart and the human mind to tackle. It’s up to us to make it happen, and the time is now.